Referring to the nuclear crisis in Japan, the United Nations in its report released on Wednesday said the country was “too modest” with its assumptions for possible or likely accidents before the March 11 quake and tsunami struck. In the light of the disaster in the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the UN called for Japan to review these assumptions with respect to existing and future reactors and to take into consideration the effects of climate change.
The report was prepared by UN organizations including the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization. This is in line with the high-level meeting on nuclear safety and security on September 22 during the UN General Assembly session.
On the other hand, the UN recognized the measures undertaken by Japan in protecting public health in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster, including the immediate evacuation of affected residents. It however, pointed out that prolonged stress from the displacement of people may have significant health impacts’.
Recognizing the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster on power, communications, and particularly on food trade, the UN report strongly encourages a "coordinated support to national, regional and international food and agriculture response planning to nuclear emergency."
The world body considers nuclear power as an important source of energy that is crucial in addressing the needs of the world’s 2.4 billion people living in energy poverty. With 440 nuclear power reactors operating in 29 countries and 65 new reactors under construction, the UN says “interests in nuclear power, despite Japan’s nuclear accident, remains high.”